ISA & UNDP Launch Pilot Solar Projects in 10 African Member Nations

ISA & UNDP Launch Pilot Solar Projects in 10 African Member Nations Romania Joins As The 118th Member Country Of International Solar Alliance

The International Solar Alliance (ISA) and UNDP announced the launch of ISA’s first programme, Scaling Solar Applications for Agriculture Use (SSAAU), in ten African ISA Member Countries: Benin, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Niger, Republic of Sudan, Senegal, South Sudan, Togo, Tuvalu, and Uganda. The programme is slated to be implemented over the next two years and will be financially supported with USD 2 million, which ISA and UNDP have jointly secured.

This pilot programme will provide agricultural workers with enhanced energy access and a sustainable irrigation solution through new and innovative solar water pumping systems deployment models. The larger goal of the initiative is to help Member Countries devise and implement large-scale projects and schemes to induct solar pumping technology in agricultural practices. This will help agriculture-based communities curb their carbon emissions and enjoy cost efficiencies.

Dr Ajay Mathur, Director General, ISA, remarked, “Solar energy is the fastest-growing renewable energy source in Africa. This initiative has the potential to become the epitome of South-South cooperation and demand aggregation employing ISA’s convening power. I applaud this achievement which showcases both popularity and impact of ISA’s programmes and, in this case, the vision of its very first programme of implementing decentralised solar applications in rural settings in the form of solar water pumping systems (SWPs) and reinforcing it with technical assistance.”

Ms Shoko Noda, Resident Representative, UNDP India, highlighted that “Agrifood systems account for 31 percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions globally. Expanding application of solar technologies in agriculture, especially in energy intensive areas like irrigation, will help reduce emissions while also enhancing farmer incomes. Through this partnership, ISA and UNDP will  promote solar applications in agriculture across 9 countries in Africa and Pacific islands.”

The broad avenues of collaboration will include exploring localised and innovative deployment models, pilot demonstration, skilling programmes and trainings for technical staff to build local capacity, developing best practices documents and detailing learnings from demonstration projects.

ISA’s mission is to unlock US$ 1 trillion of investments in solar by 2030 while reducing the cost of the technology and its financing. Previously, it has pooled demand for solar technology from different countries to drive down costs.

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